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I am not sure if this is possible but I want my Site templates to show up in the Custom tab when you are creating a new Site collection. I'm talking about when you select "Create a site collection" in Central Administration.

The first page with the Select a Template choices. I've gone through saving the .wsp file to solutions and I understand how to do that for after you create a site and then chose "select my template later".

I get that part, but I'd rather have the choice to select my Custom template from that first page.

  • In that case you should create a Web Template and deploy it as a Farm Solution. – Amal Hashim Jan 29 '15 at 19:00
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What you can probably do is to import you saved site (the .wsp file) into Visual Studio. You will then need to add a new Feature and give the the FARM scope. Add the module or element that holds the WebTemplate feature that defines the site to this new Feature. Make sure you remove the module or element from the feature it was originally in. Repackage the whole thing and deploy the new .wsp file to Central Administration.

Be aware that you will have to deploy it as a farm or full trust solution if you want to be able to create new site collections based on it without doing any extra work.

Source

Also check this one, may also help: http://www.toddklindt.com/blog/Lists/Posts/Post.aspx?ID=218

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